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    January 16, 2013
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everybody to be happy and safe." and then grant, go ahead and wave, grant. grant said, "i think there should be some changes. we should learn from what happened at sandy hook. i feel really bad." and then julia said -- julia, where are you? "i'm not scared for my safety, i'm scared for others. i have four brothers and sisters and i know i would not be able to bear the thought of losing any of them." and these are our kids. this is what they're thinking about. and so what we should be thinking about is our responsibility to care for them. and shield them from harm and give them the tools they need to grow up and do everything that they're capable of doing, not just to pursue their own dreams,
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but to help build this country. this is our first task as a society. keeping our children safe. this is how we will be judged. and their voices should compel us to change. and that's why last month i asked joe to lead an effort along with members of my cabinet to come up with some concrete steps we can take right now to keep our children safe. to help prevent mass shootings. to reduce the broader epidemic of gun violence in this country. and we can't put this off any longer. just last thursday, as tv networks were covering one of joe's meetings, on this topic, news broke of another school shooting, this one in california. in the month since 20 precious
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children and 6 brave adults were violently taken from us at sandy hook elementary, more than 900 of our fellow americans have reportedly died at the end of a gun. 900. in the past month. and every day we wait, that number will keep growing. so i'm putting forward a specific set of proposals based on the work of joe's task force. and in the days ahead i intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality. because while there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there's even one thing
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we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, we've got an obligation to try. and i'm going to do my part. as soon as i'm finished speaking here, i will sit at that desk and i will sign a directive giving law enforcement, schools, mental health professionals and the public health community some of the tools they need to help reduce gun violence. we will make it easier to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by strengthening the background check system. we will help schools hire more resource officers, if they want them, and develop emergency preparedness plans. we will make sure mental health professionals know their options for reporting threats of violence. even as we acknowledge that someone with a mental illness is far more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the
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perpetrator. and while year after year those who oppose even modest gun safety measures have threatened to defund scientific or medical research into the causes of gun violence, i will direct the centers for disease control to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce it, and congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds. we don't benefit from ignorance. we don't benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence. these are a few of the 23 executive actions that i'm announcing today, but as important as these steps are, they are in no way a substitute for action from members of congress. to make a real and lasting difference, congress, too, must act. and congress must act soon.
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and i'm calling on congress to pass some very specific proposals right away. first it's time for congress to require a universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun. [ applause ] the law already requires licensed gun dealers to run background checks. over the last 14 years, that's kept 1.5 million of the wrong people from getting their hands on a gun. but it's hard to enforce that law when as many as 40% of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check. that's not safe. that's not smart. that's not fair to responsible gun buyers or sellers. if you want to buy a gun, whether it's from a licensed dealer or a private seller, you should at least have to show you are not a felon or somebody
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legally prohibited from buying one. this is common sense. and an overwhelming majority of americans agree with us on the need for universal background checks including more than 70% of the national rifle association's members, according to one survey. so there's no reason we can't do this. second, congress should restore a ban on military-style assault weapons and a ten-round limit more magazines. the type of assault rifle used in aurora, for example, when paired with high-capacity magazines has one purpose. to pump out as many bullets as possible as quickly as possible. to do as much damage. using bullets often designed to inflict maximum damage. that's what allowed the gunman in aurora to shoot 70 people.
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70 people. killing 12. in a matter of minutes. weapons designed for the theater of war have no place in a movie theater. a majority of americans agree with us on this. and by the way, so did ronald reagan. one of the staunchest defenders of the second amendment. who wrote to congress in 1994 urging them, this is ronald reagan speaking, urging them to listen to the american public and to the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacturer of military-style assault weapons. [ applause ] and finally, congress needs to help rather than hinder law enforcement as it does its job. we should get tougher on people who buy guns, with the expressed purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals.
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and we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this. since congress hasn't confirmed a director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms in six years, they should confirm todd jones who will be, who has been acting, and i will be nominating, for the post. [ applause ] and at a time when budget cuts are forcing many communities to reduce their police force, we should put more cops back on the job and back on our streets. let me be absolutely clear. like most americans, i believe the second amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. i respect our strong tradition of gun ownership and the rights of hunters and sportsmen. there are millions of
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responsible law-abiding gun owners in america who cherish their right to bear arms for hunting or sport or protection or collection. i also believe most gun owners agree that we can respect the second amendment while keeping an irresponsible law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale. i believe most of them agree that if america worked harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one that occurred in newtown. that's what these reforms are designed to do. they're common sense measures. they have the support of the majority of the american people. and yet that doesn't mean any of this is going to be easy to enact or implement. if it were, we'd already have universal background checks. the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines never would have been allowed to expire. more of our fellow americans might still be alive.
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celebrating birthdays and anniversaries and graduations. this will be difficult. there will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists, publicly warning of a teranical all-out assault on liberty. not because that's true, but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves. and behind the scenes they'll do everything they can to block any common sense reform and make sure nothing changes whatsoever. the only way we will be able to change is if their audience, their constituents, their membership says, this time must be different, that this time we must do something to protect our communities and our kids.
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i will put everything i've got into this, and so will joe, but i tell you, the only way we can change is if the american people demand it. and by the way, that doesn't just mean from certain parts of the country. we're going to need voices in those areas, in those congressional districts where the tradition of gun ownership is strong to speak up and to say this is important. it can't just be the usual suspects. we have to examine ourselves and our hearts and ask ourselves, what is important? this will not happen unless the american people demand it. if parents and teachers, police officers and pastors, if hunters and sportsmen, if responsible gun owners, if americans of
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every background stand up and say, enough, we've suffered too much pain and cared too much about our children to allow this to continue, then change will come. that's what it's going to take. in the letter that julia wrote me, she said, i know that laws have to be passed by congress, but i beg you to try very hard. julia, i will try very hard. but she's right. the most important changes we can make depend on congressional action. they need to bring these proposals up for a vote and the american people need to make sure that they do. get them on record. ask your member of congress if they support universal background checks to keep guns
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out of the wrong hands. ask them if they support renewing a ban on military assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. and if they say no, ask them why not. ask them what's more important? doing whatever it takes to get an "a" grade from the gun lobby that funds their campaigns, or giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade? [ applause ] this is the land of the free and it always will be. as americans, we are endowed by our creator, with certain inalienable rights that no man can take away from us. we also long recognize, as our founders recognize, with rights come responsibilities. along with our freedom to live
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our lives as we will comes an obligation to allow others to do the same. we don't live in isolation. we live in a society. a government of and by and for the people. we are responsible for each other. the right to worship freely and safely, that right was denied to sikhs in oak creek, wisconsin. the right to assemble peacefully, that right was denied shoppers in clackamus, oregon, and moviegoers in aurora, colorado. that most fundamental set of rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, fundamental rights that were denied to college students at virginia tech. and high school students at columbine. and elementary school students in newtown.
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and kids on street corners in chicago, on too frequent a basis to tolerate. and all the families who've never imagined that they'd lose a loved one to a bullet. those rights are at stake. we're responsible. and when i visited newtown hat month, i spent some private time with many of the families who lost their children that day, and one was the family of grace mcdonnell. grace's parents are here. grace was 7 years old when she was struck down. just a gorgeous, caring, joyful little girl. i'm told she loved pink. she loved the beach. she dreamed of becoming a painter. and so just before i left,
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chris, her father, gave me one of her paintings, and i hung it in my private study just off the oval office. and every time i look at that painting, i think about grace and i think about the life that she lived and the life that lay ahead of her, and most of all, i think about how when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now. for grace. for the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who had so much left to give. for the men and women in big cities and small towns who fall victim to senseless violence each and every day. for all the americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm. let's do the right thing. let's do the right thing for them and for this country that
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we love so much. thank you. let's sign these orders. any of you guys left handed? are you? >> president's now signing 23 executive actions as he's calling them. 23 separate orders that he's giving right now that do not require congressional authorization to go forward. i guess that one signature represents all 23 of the executive actions that he signed. he's now giving a hug to these young kids who wrote letters to the president, asking him to take these kinds of actions, to do something to prevent another,
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another disaster at an elementary school or a high school or a college campus that the president was talking about. he accepted the recommendations of the vice president joe biden. there you see the vice president with the kids as well. let's talk a little bit about what we have just seen. gloria borger is here, john king is with me as well. gloria, first to you. these 23 actions, and they represent everything from issuing a presidential memorandum, to require a federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system, to going ahead and actually nominating a director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. he has a lot of specifics in here. he could do this without legislation, but the big stuff requires legislation. >> yeah, the big such requires congress to act, as he pointed out. i think what we heard today was a president who said to us, i'm putting everything i've got behind this, i intend to use whatever might this office hold. but he was always president who made it clear that he
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understands the political realities of all of this, that it's going to be difficult for members on his side of the aisle as well as republicans to sign on to something like renewing the ban on assault weapons. and it was sort of symmetry for me to see joe biden standing there with the president. joe biden in 1990 was the person who was the pointman in the senate to get that original crime bill through. that included the assault weapons ban. and he has seen it expire but he also saw the democrats lose control of the house very much as a result of that vote. so the president clearly is under no illusions about what he's facing. but i've been told that they're going to do this public outreach as a political campaign, using some of the grassroots apparatus, our congressional team reported this yesterday.
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using that apparatus to get out the vote. they're going to put money behind it. they have mayor bloomberg's money behind this. they're going to get police officers, sheriffs from all around the country to try and mobilize support. so this is going to be a very large political campaign run by democrats to convince people on their side of the aisle that maybe they should take the risk and convince some republicans that, perhaps, one or two of these things they could go along with. >> you know, john, the three most sensitive areas the president is now beginning to move on, he wants background checks, not only for people who go to a gun store that want to purchase a gun, but go to a gun show, go online to buy a gun, sell a gun to a friend or a neighbor. anyone who purchases a gun should have a background check. he wants a ban on the military-style assault we weap and ban on high-capacity magazines. more than ten rounds of ammunition. those are high hurdles for him to overcome in a republican majority in the house where even a bunch of democrats will be concerned about what he's
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proposing. >> in the current math, he can't do it in the house. so he needs to change the current math and that requires presidential leadership. you heard him ask for help. i can't do this by myself. i need the parents to speak out. i need local officials to speak out. i need you to pressure them when they come home from washington. this is an interesting challenge for this president. as you know, wolf, from covering the white house, your time is precious especially in the second term. he has a short window. he wants to get this fiscal stuff figured out. he wants to do comprehensive immigration reform. that's a confrontation with the republican base. he wants to do sweeping gun control measures. that's a confrontation not just with the republican base but including potentially his democratic leader in the united states senate. will president obama, the leader of the democratic party, call out his democratic leader in the senate? will he have a fight with his own leadership? is it that important to him? when push comes to shove, the congress says we can give you this, mr. president, not that, will he put the whole weight of the office behind it, do whatever he takes? that's a huge test when he has many priorities and he's
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thinking of what any second term president does of his legacy. >> endanger of the control of the senate. you have somebody up from gun states. >> let's go to our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin. you're in the auditorium where the president spoke. the vice president spoke. the president signed those executive orders. is the president ready to do everything he possibly cannot just to get background checks, make them universal but also to deal with the assault weapons and the magazine clips? >> reporter: hi, wolf. the sense i've been getting from people who have come out of the meetings here with the vice president and i've been in contact with the white house is that they feel that the priority is on the background checks and on the high-capacity magazines and less so on the assault weapons ban. now, they insist that's because those two can do more good than the assault weapons ban. we should also acknowledge the political reality that even senior democrats are saying assault weapons ban probably
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cannot pass the house. i point out that while the president was speaking, while the vice president was speaking, i got two letters on my e-mail, one from the governor of mississippi, one from a sheriff in lynn county, oregon. both saying that the white house is exploiting this opportunity to try to crack down on the second amendment and they will do what they can do both fight this and resist enforcement of any of the president's executive actions. the governor of mississippi saying he's asked his lieutenant governor and his house speaker to see what they can do to prevent any of these executive actions from taking effect in the state of mississippi. now, as gloria said, there's an organization on the democratic side to mobilize an effort against that and to spread the word and i can tell you that that will begin as soon as tomorrow. organizing for america is involved in many of the grassroots groups, but the white house can't coordinate with them. so it's sort of a defuse effort
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that has to take place out in the country by these groups separate from the white house. one other point i'd make, wolf, which is that we're told in terms of new moneys going to gun safety efforts, the white house is asking for some approximately $500 million in the 2014 budget that would go to new things including school safety, improved research from the centers of disease control, and more measures for school counselors and school resource officers, wolf. >> the research is a sensitive issue. asking questions about gun safety, by in large those are the questions, kinds of questions from the centers of disease control, for example, were barred but under this new executive order the president has just signed, people will be able to go ahead and ask those kinds of questions, do that kind of research. a sensitive subject. i want everyone to stand by. we're getting reaction from all sides. it's coming in quickly. much more of our special coverage right after this.
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citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose. citracal slow release. welcome back, your special coverage here in the "cnn newsroom." i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we're getting immediate reaction from republican leadership to what the president of the united states and the vice president just announced over at the white house. dana bash is our chief congressional correspondent. dana, are you getting some reaction from the speaker? >> reporter: that's right. the speaker's spokesman we should note saying the house committees of jurisdiction will review the recommendations and if the senate passes a bill, we will take a look at that. so that really undersores what we have been reporting for the past several days, even weeks that the house republicans are effectively a sideshow right now. certainly what they are going to feel ultimately if there is an
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ultimately will matter, but right now the focus is on the senate and is on the president's fellow democrats. and so much of what he was saying and focusing on, and will focus on in the next few days, is going to be on people in his own party. that really is something that i think is important to underscore. couple things here. first of all, there was a lot of talk about harry reid, a senate majority leader, who's a gun owner. he's from the gun rights state of nevada. he has been very cautious saying that the senate should be cautious, but my understanding from talking to a number of sources is that he's speaking for himself but he's also speaking from the perspective of political reality, that there are a number of people in his caucus who would potentially really get slammed for supporting anything. so that's why he wants to take it slow. he doesn't want his people to walk the plank and suddenly not be the senate majority, lose the majority. but the other thing i think is really important to keep in mind is just how different this is. kind of taking it up to 5,000 or 10,000 feet. i cannot tell you how many times after so many of these
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tragedies, after one of their own gabby giffords was shot, calling up senate democratic sources saying, are you going to do anything? nope. nothing's changed. after aurora, nope, nothing's changed. n newtown changed the dialogue, the decision at the white house and here in congress by some to put this issue, again, which was very, very difficult. for ten years democrats didn't want to touch this. now at least they're saying that they want to try. >> dana, stand by. not surprisingly, many gun rights advocates, they're pretty angry about the president's gun control plan. they say it goes way too far and they insist it tramples on the u.s. constitution. joining us now from austin, texas, republican state representative steve toath. representative, thanks so much for joining us. we're intrigued because you proposed legislation that would make it illegal in texas for anyone to enforce a federal ban, shall we say, on assault weapons or high-capacity magazines. here's the question. if the federal government, if the house and the senate pass this legislation that the
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president is asking for, he signs it into law, everyone in the united states would have to obey the law. how would you avoid obeying the law? >> in texas, we're going to do everything we can, wolf. first off, thanks for having me on. we're going to do everything we can to call people back to the belief and the understanding that we're a constitutional republic and that our rights do not come from congress. our rights come from god and are enumerated in the constitution. what they're proposing, and here's what i really want to stress, he said that we will be judged. our generation will be judged based on how we deal with this. cotton candy political solutions aren't going to fix this problem. >> but the congress, by the constitution, has given the authority to pass legislation to create the laws, to make the laws. once again, if they pass this
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legislation, not sure they will pass the legislation, but let's say they do pass the legislation banning the military type assault weapons, the high ammunition clips. a universal background checks for anyone buying a gun. whether at a gun show or online or from a private individual. if that is the law of the land, that's the constitution, right? you got to obey the law of the land. >> let me ask you a quick question. if you -- he used the express n expression, weapons designed for the theater of par. what we're talking about here is not an m-16 used over in iraq or afghanistan. that is not what we're talking about here. what we're talking about, what he's talking about banning are weapons that are used in less than one-tenth of 1% in all gun crimes. these are nothing more than semiautomatic hunting rifles that look like, look like m-16s. they are not m-16s. wolf, have you ever held one of these things in your hand and fired one? >> well, i understand what
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you're saying, but the question i'm asking, and i'm not getting a direct answer, congressman, representative, excuse me. the specific question, if it's passed by congress, and once again, i don't know if the congress will pass it, but if it's passed by congress, every u.s. -- >> it won't. >> -- citizen has to obey the law. what you're proposing is -- >> we'll do everything we can in the state of texas -- >> i just want to make sure -- >> we will do everything. >> -- your law o biding citizens in texas -- >> we will do everything we can -- we will do everything in the state of texas to ensure that as texas we follow the united states constitution. and if this government infringes on our second amendment right, which gives us the right not only to bear arms but tells the government, the federal government, not to create any laws that infringes on those rights, we will do everything we can to push back against that. >> does that mean -- maybe i'm jumping too far, but does that mean seceding from the union? is that what you're suggesting? >> no, that's not what we're
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talking about here. you know, i'm pretty sure that that's not what this discussion is about. >> i'm just -- i just wanted to be precise. that's not what you were calling for? what you're saying is you will try to skirt around a federal law but within the law? >> wolf, let me just share something with you real quick. i was born in new york. upstate new york. 20 miles south of webster, new york. where a few weeks ago a mentally deranged man, a killer, a man that beat his mother to death with a hammer, he beat her to death with a hammer so badly that the coroner couldn't recognize her. the guy was found guilty of first-degree murder, sent to jail. in the state of new york, allowed this animal back out on the streets again to kill again. he illegally got ahold of a gun, set his house on fire and when firemen arrived, he shot two of them dead. all of the situations that the
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president enumerated in his speech have nothing to do with even his legislation. if we want to get serious about limiting violent crime in america, we've got to look at mental health issues and we've got to look at punishing people that commit crimes and when they commit violent crimes, they've got to go to jail and stay in jail. let's get serious about this. anything -- >> i don't think -- i don't think anyone disagrees with you on that last point. >> the president's not -- wolf, the president -- >> i think everybody agrees if you commit a violent crime, you should go to jail and stay in jail. >> we don't agree on it, because if the president was really serious about it, he wouldn't have taken 90% of his time talking about military, quote/unquote, mail military style assault rifles but address the issue of the fact these weapons account for less than one-half of 1% of crimes. less than one-half of 1%. let's deal with the real issues.
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the recidivism rate. people who get out of jail and go and kill again. the ability of people to get ahold of these weapons. republicans have been calling for years for instant background checks. instant background checks. this government has done nothing to help -- >> do you want universal background checks on all gun transactions in the united states, as the president is proposing? >> no, i don't. >> why? >> no, i don't. at gun shows, online, we've got the technology online -- >> what if some crazy guy you described in upstate new york wants to go to a gun show? he can go buy a gun. >> wolf, that would be -- first off, that hasn't happened. if you look at that guy in upstate new york, he stole his gun. these people don't go -- >> he could, technically, if there's no background check, if you have a criminal record, he can go to a gun show, where he can buy a gun without a background check. technically, that's obviously possible. >> let's quit dealing with the hypothetical, though, and start dealing with reality, wolf. that hasn't happened. >> there are a lot of people --
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>> that hasn't happened. >> people can buy guns at gun shows. >> those are law-abiding citizens, wolf. show me one -- >> unfortunately, there aren't a whole lot of -- >> wolf, wolf. >> there's plenty who aren't representative. right now, you can be on the no-fly list, you're not allowed to board a plane, but you can go to a gun show and buy a gun. is there a contradiction there? >> wolf, show me one, one time one of these criminals has gone to a gun show and gone and committed a crime. i'm listening. i'm all ears. let's deal with -- let's deal with reality. >> representative steve toth, state representative from texas. thanks very much for coming in. you obviously have very, very strong views and i know you reflect a lot of people out there who have strong views on this as well. >> thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to discuss it with you. >> i wanted to hear your views and now we heard them. appreciate it very much. >> thank you. >> steve toth from texas.
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by the way, i'm from upstate new york, myself. a new cnn/"time"/orc poll shows more americans favor gun control. 55% say they're in favor of stricter laws. 44% are opposed. here's a further breakdown of the numbers. 37% say they strongly favor stricter gun laws. 18% moderately favor it. 17% moderately oppose them. 27% strongly oppose stricter gun laws. we also polled americans on the president's performance. 55% say they now approve of how president obama is handling his job. 43% disapprove. we also asked how vice president biden is handling his job. he has an even higher approval rate than the president. 59% say they approve of how the vice president is handling his job. 38% disapprove. we'll take another quick break. much more of our special coverage right after this. plugged it into my car, and got a discount just for being the good driver i've always been.
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new york representative caroline mccarthy is one of the foremost gun control a voavo can the congress. her husband, dennis, was killed in the 1993 shooting rampage on the long island railroad. her son was seriously injured in the incident. representative mccarthy is joining us now. representati representative, thanks very much for coming in.
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you, yourself, have sent a ban on this military type assault weapons will be a heavy lift but it's certainly worth trying, you say. what is the president specifically need to do to get this kind of legislation passed, given the widespread opposition among many, not just republicans, but a whole bunch of democrats as well, especially in the house? >> well, thank you, wolf, for having me here. as the president said, though, and i give him an awful lot of credit, we all realize it's going to be a heavy lift. that does not mean we can't do it. i was around for the battle during the clinton years. i was not a member of congress. i was a victim sitting in the audience as many of the others were there. but with the vice president and certainly president obama with their strength of the office and going around the country and talking to americans which basically agree with the president, it's going to be up to the people across the country to talk to their members of congress to make sure that we and get this done. this can save lives. we've saw that.
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when the large magazine clips, which i've been reintroducing ever since 204, when that ban was in place, we did not see these magazines out on the streets. and they were very expensive because they were rare. we can do that again to cut that down. we're not going to be taking away anyone's right to own a gun. the supreme court already did that. but with the president laying out what he did, in a very holistic way, by the way, by working with our schools, making sure we have community policing, have psychologists. it's going to be up to the schools to make the decision on what they want, but we should be there to help them. ifwe can't protect our children from school or someone going to the movies, i think that has hit the heart of everybody in this country. gun owners -- >> congresswoman, what has a better chance of passing? a comprehensive piece of legislation that includes everything the president just outlined? or breaking it up into separate pieces of legislation? one bill, for example, dealing
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with ammunition clip, a separate bill dealing with universal background checks, a third bill dealing with military-type assault weapons. you put them all together or try to pass separate legislation? >> well, unfortunately, you know, that we'll see -- we'll look at that down the road. right now we know that republican, a lot of republicans in the house will probably vote for the background checks. a lot of them will vote for anything that has to do with the mental illness. so those are things that they will vote for. if we start taking them one by one, the chances in the house would be a lot more difficult. i would like to see certainly the senate go first on a number of these issues. that might give some strength. that might even give some members of congress the spine to do the right thing, as the president said. you know, the nra is not in line with an awful lot of their members, and that is something we're counting on to go forward. i've gone through this before. i know what the battles are
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going to be. i know the nra is probably already out there. you probably saw that new ad that they just put out attacking the president and his two daughters. that's crazy. everybody knows that the president and his family have to be protected. but to try to push that over on to the, their probably most radical members of the nra, that's now how the general public feels. i believe we can do it. this time it is different. this time it's gone to the heart of every mother, father, gra grandparent thinking about their children, grandchildren. we have to do something. all these mass killings and the killings that happen every single day, as the president said, 900 people have died since the day that sandy hook happened. that's too many of our people. i'm speaking as a nurse. it's cost us over $200 billion a year for those that survive. and for everything that we need to do to protect our cities and our communities.
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>> congresswoman, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you for covering this story. >> thank you. carolyn mccarthy is the democratic congresswoman from new york. our special coverage continues here in the "newsroom" right after this. built the cadis from the ground up to be the world's best sport sedan... ♪ ...people noticed. ♪ the all-new cadillac ats -- 2013 north american car of the year. ♪ for a limited time, take advantage of this exceptional offer on the all-new cadillac ats. fiber one. uh, forgot jack's cereal. [ jack ] what's for breakfast? um... try the number one! yeah, this is pretty good. [ male announcer ] over a third of a day's fiber. fiber one.
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom." i'm suzanne malveaux. americans being held hostage in algeria, in northern africa. this is a story we are following. militants who are linked to al
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qaeda today took several people hostage. this happened at a bp facility in what is being called a terrorist attack. now, we are told that the state department is now in touch with the algerians and who have the lead on this story. i want to bring in alice abbott. this is is a breaking news story we're following here. another big story. tell us what we know so far. >> well, suzanne, all we know this morning that in about southeast algeria that the bp oil facility was attacked. this is an al qaeda-linked affiliate, tried to attack a bus that was carrying employees from the facility to the nearby airport. that was not successful and then they went to the living quarters of this group. this is all from state algerian reports. information still coming in fast and furious. we understand there are some 40 hostages including about seven
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americans. it's really unclear how many americans are involved. it could be a few more, could be a few less according to state department officials. we understand nine other nationalities are also involved. the british, the japanese, the norwegi norwegians, irish saying their citizens are involved right now. >> these seven americans being held hostage, are they all from the bp facility? do we know anything about these people who have been taken? >> we don't understand just yet, but it's a very remote area. this oil and gas field is really all that's in this area, so we understand that they do work for bp or one of its contracted companies. we understand that the algerians from algerian state media have surrounded the area and they're trying to negotiate with these kidnappers. >> do we have any idea how these kidnappers, how they actually gained access to the oil facility and how they managed to get in and to take the hostages? >> we don't know how they got to
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this facility. as i said, it's a very remote facility, but this group is believed to be based in mali. also has a big presence in libya. so what the spokesman has told media in the area is that they launched the attack from mali. it is 600 miles from mali, this airfield. we know militants are based in mali. french troops have been battling them along with the mali government. on this recent offensive. we understand according to this group that this attack is in retaliation for algeria giving the french airspace for the offensive. so we see that these islamic groups based in mali, based in the region are using mali's borders to spread their attacks. this is the big concern, suzanne, of the international community, that there will be spillover in the region. >> at least real quickly here, might be too soon to know this, but do we have any sense of how the u.s. government, either the
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military, state department is responding? >> right now they're leaving it up to the algerians. there's been a lot of cooperation between the u.s. and algeria on a host of issues over the last several months, including this whole issue of islamists in mali and in the region. so right now they're leaving it up to the algerians, certainly with some 40-something foreign hostages being taken, the algerians are taking this seriously and they're hoping they'll be able to resolve it. suzanne, this group is not just about islamic activity. they have a history of smuggling, of kidnapping for ranosm. possibly they might be able to work out some monetary arrangement. we just don't know just yet. >> all right. elise, we're going to get back to you as soon as possible, as soon as you have more information about the state of those hostages. at least 40 hostages, 7 of them americans. we're going to take a quick break. [ loud party sounds ]
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a fight over guns in washington. the president ratcheting up the national debate over guns in the country. he just unveiled a new package of gun control proposals. here's what he is calling for. universal background checks. bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. that's ammunition. and the proposals are based on the recommendations from a panel which was led by the vice president. >> congress should restore a ban on military-style assault weapons and a ten-round limit for magazines.
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[ applause ] the type of assault rifle used in aurora, for example, when paired with high-capacity magazines has one purpose. to pump out as many bullets as possible as quickly as possible. to do as much damage using bullets often designed to inflict maximum damage. that's what allowed the gunman in aurora to shoot 70 people. 70 people. killing 12. in a matter of minutes. >> so here's the breakdown on guns in america. according to the most recent study of guns in the world, american civilians own 270 million small arms. that's about nine firearms for every ten people. the u.s. has higher gun ownership than the next 17 countries combined and the most gun-related homicides in the developed world. 31,000 people die annually from gun violence in this country.
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almost 3,000 are children. in fact, according to the "journal of trauma injury" death by firearm is the third leading cause of death for children in america. ages 5 to 14. a child in the u.s. is 12 times more likely to die from a firearm than a child in the rest of the developed world. well, we've just heard from the president laying out his plan to curb gun violence. the recommendations coming from a task force that was led by the vice president joe biden. his son, who is also delaware's attorney general and iraq war veteran, beau biden, joining us from the white house. good to see you as always. you were in the room with the president and your father as well. tell us what does this mean for your father to be a part of this task force? >> it's an issue my father's been working on for 20-plus years. it's an issue he worked on intimately with members of congress in 1994, 1995, 1996. this has been part of his life's
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work. he knows this issue well. he's been able to put together this task force, get all the stakeholders together, work with his staff who have done an incredible job on this, from his chief of staff on down. and able to present a package to the president that is comprehensive, makes sense, deals with gun violence, deals with mass shootings, deals with violence in our city streets. deals with the mental health component and deals with school safety. so i was thrilled not just as a son but as an attorney general, as a chief law officer of a state. >> beau, what do you make of the fact there is a lot of criticism and, perhaps, not even enough support for the president to pass and for congress to pass some of the most important things that he's talks about? when you talk about the assault, the ban of assault-style weapons. those weapons. or you talk about universal background checks. these are things that senate democrats aren't necessarily going to be in line with the president. that it's going to be a really tough political sell. how do they address that? >> well, you know, they're going to take it day-to-day, day-by-day.
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convince people what the american people are convinced of. these are common sense approaches to make our streets safer, schools safer and community safer. universal background check is something the american people overwhelmingly support. you heard the president reference that. regarding american support, the statement of an assault weapons ban is something the governor of my state, markell, working with lieutenant governor in my office proposed earlier this week. you see governors up and down the eastern coast as well as across the nation proposing various measures, measures similar to the ones you heard the president speak about today. so it's going to be an effort. i think the american people are behind this, and as you heard the president say, the american people are going to have to demand this of their legislators locally and the federal level. >> when you think about the second term, he doesn't have a lot of time to get these things he wants to get accomplished, so you have the gun policy, that is one part of the agenda here. but you also have the president is up against republicans, he trying to work on the debt
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ceiling. you have the whole issue of whether or not the debt ceiling is going to be raised, whether or not that is going to be held hostage to actually paying the bills the government has to pay. you also talk about immigration reform. where does this fit in in terms of the president's priorities, do you think? >> well, from where i sat today, obviously it seems to be a very high priority for the president of the united states. i'll let the white house and the administration answer how they're going to deal with congress. that's their task, not mine. but i'm confident that the president, the vice president and the entire administration is going to do everything they can to get the package they proposed today through congress. and, you know, when you heard the president say, i think it's essential, american citizens, the american people have to demand this. we have to act. when you have 1,000 people nearly killed in last 30 days at the hands of gun, when you have mass tragedies like happened in connecticut, aurora, colorado, oregon, enough is enough. and we have to act. we have to do whatever we can. it is our obligation as elected official, as chief law enforcement officer of my state,
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it's our responsibility. i think the american people are behind this. american people are demanding it. that's why congress has to act. >> beau, this is nothing new. president bush used this tactic as well. it's always the bully pulpit. the president has the right to invite people to the white house, to talk to people about the issues he's presenting. there's been some pushback, some criticism even about the president bringing forward and using these kids, these children. some of them the letters, obviously, he read in his speech about how they were touched. they were moved by the gun violence. even the massacre in newtown. he had a -- it was even a tribute, really, to a little girl who had died, grace. he had addressed the parents who were in the room at the time. a very emotional moment for the president. i imagine for some of those kids, too, who are getting those high fives after his speech. do you think it is appropriate, do you think that was a good use of the president and his platform in using those children as well to make a point? >> look, president of the united states was responding to these
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parents and to these kids. you know, any time the president of the united states personally answers a letter from a young woman or the three, four young children there, to criticize a president of the united states for being responsive to young people's voices is outrageous. i think that actually demonstrates, whoever's saying that, simply doesn't get what the job of the president of the united states is. the president of the united states' job is to respond to the voices and the pain of the american people are facing. whether it be the mother of the father of the child that was referenced by the president, whose painting hangs, as he said, in his private study, or the four children you saw sitting behind him who wrote him letters. to criticize the president for being responsive to the voices of children is, it just makes me scratch my head and i'm putting that politely. >> we appreciate you being polite there, beau. final question, of course. one of the things that the president is saying that he wants to go ahead and ban the assault weapons. assault-style weapons that used primarily in the military.
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you are an iraq war veteran. give us a sense of what that kind of weapon does and what that means. do you think that's appropriate? or do you think it ought to go even further? >> we propose a similar piece of legislation in our state. i was very, very gratified that the president is pursuing a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban on military assault weapons. these are weapons, m-16 was assigned to me for most of my military career. it's been about ten years now. and, look, these are weapons designed for the battlefield. they're not designed for our communities. they're not designed for wilmington, delaware, or cities and communities all over this country. it's an understandable and rational balance to recognizing that there's a well-established right to bear arms under the second amendment, a tradition quite frankly. i'm a gun owner. also that doesn't mean there should be weapons that are meant for the battlefield to be able to wreak havoc on the streets of my state and communities all over this country. that's why the president is trying to reinstate a ban that's been in place, that was in place
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for nearly a decade. one that ronald reagan supported. one that supportsm s one that supportsmportsmen acro state have supported. these are weapons of destruction. these are weapons you send sailor, marines, airmen to defend our nation. not needed to defend neighborhoods and homes. >> beau, there is a controversy that is happening right now. the national rifle association putting out an ad in which they say that it is unfair to have the president criticize actually arming schools to protect children because his own children actually receive secret service protection. do you think that that's a fair criticism? this is something that a lot of people are very emotional about. the fact that now the president's children is being used as part of his gun debate. >> look, it's, obviously that's out of bound and well out of the bound for the nra to make that the first thing they say on this issue. it's somewhat telling that that's what they do.
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they try to take on the president on that issue. it's obvious why -- >> i wonder -- if i can interrupt, i want our viewers and i want you to actually watch this ad if you can. then we'll talk about it on the other end real quick. >> are the president's kids more important than yours? then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school? mr. obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he's just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security. protection for their kids. >> i'm sorry, beau. go ahead. finish your thought. >> any american and any law enforcement official would tell you that there's a rationale and a reason, unfortunately, why the president of the united states' children need the secret service around them. especially in the post-9/11 world that we unfortunately live in. so that's obvious, fairly apparent on its face. what that ad is just simply out
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of bounds. it demonstrates, quite frankly, them being somewhat out of touch. you know, as you heard my father say in the press that he had what he believed to be a constructive meeting with the members of the nra. i hope that we can get back to that kind of constructive discussion rather than leading with what appears to be a well-funded ad that takes on the president on an issue that is just clearly out of the bounds and out of line. >> all right. we're going to obviously get their reaction as well, but beau, i imagine you don't see much of your dad these days. he seems very, very busy with all these different task force that he's heading. beau, good to see you as always. >> the reality is, he'll tell you this, you know him, he's a dad and a husband first. so i talk to my dad every day. he's still my dad and he still calls the three of his children every day. so he gets to -- he can walk and chew gum at the same time. >> that's great. yeah, he is a busy guy these days. good to see you, beau. one sheriff in kentucky feels he's saying, quote, a obligation not to enforce gun
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control laws. that is right. not to enforce the gun laws on the books. this is whdanny piman said over the weekend. >> i couldn't justify if obama -- the sheriff has more power than the federal people. they need to go back and study that. we're a commonwealth. i can ask the federal people to leave, they have to leave. >> sheriff denny peyman is joining us from hazard, kentucky. first of all, sheriff, you listened to the president. what specifically in his proposals would you not follow that you would say that this is not fair? the background check, universal background check for all those who are trying to purchase a gun? >> no. i, to be honest with you, i didn't listen to the president. i was traveling to get here to speak today. i got a chance to read over them. i didn't get a chance to hear his speech this morning. >> do you have any objections to what he said? one of the proposals was university background checks for all those who are purchasing
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guns. would that be acceptable to you? >> no. yes. that's acceptable. >> now, what about the ban on assault weapons? is that something that you also agree you would uphold the law? >> okay. where it is, if he's -- if it goes to the channels, if it goes through congress, if congress, it becomes law, if it goes that way, yeah, i would enforce the law. but to make, you know, an executive order and to say this is the way we're going to do this, that's where i have the problem is when it becomes executive order, becomes to be able to override basically the second amendment -- i took an oath to the constitution, also to kentucky's constitution to stand by that. and that's still what it is. that second amendment was actually to protect us, the people against the government. against, you know, exactly what's happening here now. >> so what part of the law, then, would you encourage your
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citizens not to actually obey? is there anything that the president has proposed that you say, no, we're not going to cooperate? >> no. exactly what you said. proposed. it's not law. we go by the law. when a judge hands me an order and says, denny, go out and arrest this guy, i go out and arrest the guy. it's when it becomes law. right now it's not law. i can't say, i'm not going to tell my people to break the law, no, i'm not going to do that. i'm just saying as in a remote area where we live, in the, you know, we don't have the access to police on every corner. we don't have it. sometimes it takes me 45 minutes to be able to respond. but to have my people say, no, we're going to -- we're not going to do what the president says, no, we're not going to do what congress says. we're not going to go against what the amendments are. the way it is right now, all it is is just a suggestion. >> all right. we're going to get back to you.
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we're going to see if, in fact, there is a fight that incurs with the justice department, if there is something that, a law that is not being enforced. it sounds like what you're saying is you would cooperate with the federal law and with what the president puts forward. thank you very much, sheriff. i appreciate it. i want to bring in paul callan here, one of our legal contributors. paul, first of all, does the sheriff or any local law official have the responsibility to enforce federal law? do they -- are there loopholes where they can say, look, i want to enforce this part of the law if congress passes, like, say the assault bans weapon, but i'm not going to enforce this particular part? >> well, a local sheriff in a particular state, if he takes an oath to obey the state constitution and the federal constitution has an obligation to obey the law. you know, there's some earlier reported statements by the sheriff in which he said he was not going to obey any, you know, interpretation of the constitution which involved
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taking away people's guns in kentucky. now, i'm not -- the obama administration didn't propose that, but in terms of interpretation of the u.s. constitution, under our system of law we allow courts to do that. not local sheriffs. so if the courts uphold orders handed down, whether they're executive orders or congressional laws, then the sheriff would have an obligation to obey the constitution. now, i just wanted to add one other thing. under our federalism system, local sheriffs, local police officers, will not be enforcing these federal regulations. these are going to be federal laws. the fbi will enforce them. treasury agents will enforce them. it won't be the local police who will be out making sure that new federal gun regulations are enforced. that would be a federal law and under our system only federal law enforcement authorities would have the ability to enforce. >> and, paul, if you had people like the sheriffs out of kentucky, oregon, or some of these governors talking about how they're not going to follow
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necessarily the federal law. it would be the justice department that would step in and have to enforce that. is that correct? >> that's absolutely true. of course, we saw this during the early days of desegregation of schools in the south where local authorities were unwilling to enforce federal constitutional requirements. what happened is the national guard was federalized. local police were superseded by federal law enforcement. i'm not saying that's going to happen, but that's in an emergency that's how it works. >> all right. paul callan. thank you, paul, appreciate it. people all over the country are weighing in on the president's gun control plan. blair roberts he is tweeting. he says "thank you, president obama and vice president biden for taking a stand, but it's only one step, but at least it's a step." jessica alexandra says "i get that criminals don't follow laws, but some reform is better than no reform." a different perspective from jonathan christian. he tweets "if new gun laws save one life, we must do it?
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what about guns saving hundreds of lives?" this from former presidential candidate herman cain. "gun control does not stop gun violence. washington specializes in the art of doing something that does nothing." the talk of tighter gun control laws, of course -- sparking firearms shopping spree across the country. that is right. we're going to take you to las vegas for reaction. >> yes. i cannot keep them in stock. we received 17 this week, and i sold them in 36 hours. ♪ you know my heart burns for you... ♪
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some gun advocates who want to own assault rifles, going on shopping sprees. that is right. fearing that the president is going to push through a ban on their weapons. miguel marquez went to a shooting range in vegas where right now the gun industry is holding one of the biggest trade shows. >> whoa. my god. >> reporter: go big or stay home as they say in vegas. >> wow. >> reporter: yes, that is a chrome plated fully automatic .50 caliber machine gun. a one of a kind weapon that can now be fired right on the vegas strip. >> this is the place for the gun connoisseur. >> yes. going after a little bit of a higher-end demographic. >> reporter: for gun lovers, it's the sort of things dreams are made of. the world's most powerful handgun, the wesson .500.
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>> make sure not to put your finger on the trigger or pull it at anyone. >> reporter: co-owner justin michaels is attending the shot show now in town hoping to find new sources of ammunition now in short supply. why is there a shortage of ammunition? >> it's because certain people have a fear what they perceive to be upcoming gun legislation. >> reporter: rick cass, an indianapolis gun dealer, is also here for the shot show. like ammunition, he says, gun owners are buying up ar-15s at about 2,000 bucks a pop in record numbers. >> 80% of your business is ar-15s and you cannot keep them in stock? >> i cannot keep them in stock. we received 17 this week and i sold them in 36 hours. >> reporter: he also sold 2,100 high-capacity magazines in just three days, he says. all this the unintended consequence of talk of new gun laws. this is a place perfectly comfortable with guns. you can even go to the state of the art clark county skete
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shooting range opening this week. we got a sneak peek. >> pull. >> reporter: gun cards, desert views, 30 manicured shooting stations. it is golf with guns. in vegas, anything goes. sport shooters in high-end gun ranges don't think the new gun laws will have much effect on them but retailers and manufacturers of guns gathering here are watching, waiting, and worried. miguel marquez, cnn, las vegas. lance armstrong, his legacy and the future of the cancer foundation that he started. what livestrong has to say about armstrong's doping. get an adt m starting at just $49 installed, but for a limited time only. that's an instant savings of $250. don't leave your family's safety to chance when you can take advantage of these savings now.
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fwiter users are talking about hash tag rhoh. this is a new reality show called "real husbands of hollywood" debuting on b.e.t. last month. it's a mock documentary. the guys are all actual husbands of famous women like singer mariah carey, tisha campbell-martin and paula patton. >> is that the girl from "mission impossible"? >> yep, that's robin's wife, paula patton. >> paula patton's in my driveway. i'm about to bag it. >> what is wrong with him? >> i don't know. >> paula patton? oh. see, they don't understand. i said i was never going to get married again unless it was to paula patton. or unless it was to mariah if she dumps nick. >> comedian kevin hart creating this series. lance armstrong is also trending today.
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we're going to have to wait until tomorrow night, of course, to find out what the former seven time tour de france winner told oprah winfrey about his involvement in doping. livestrong, the charity he founded, urged him to come clean. the foundation said in a statement, "we expect lance to be completely truthful and forthcoming in his interview and with all of us in the cancer community." george hall is in austin, texas, where armstrong lives, and, george, this is, you know, a place where you grew up, where you covered the local news there. how are people taking this? >> reporter: suzanne, i can definitely say the mood here today is a lot different than it was, you know, some 12 years ago. when i covered this big citywide party for lance armstrong. this is right after he won the tour de france his third time. some 15,000 people came together on auditorium shores nearby where we are to celebrate. brought the city together. and think about it, you know, this is a person who not only inspired people as an athlete but also as a cancer survivor.
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he became a real symbol of pride for the city of austin, texas, but now when you talk to people you can't help but be disappointed. personally, it's disappointing to tell this story especially when you saw his rise and now you're covering this fall. you feel like you were taken to a ride. that's really what you get when you talk to people here on the streets. take a listen. >> boy, he's an icon here. you know, people looked up to him. they admired him. now they're going to look at him maybe in a little bit of a negative light now. do we really want lance armstrong to be the icon of austin, texas? i think a lot of people have the that question in their mind now. i don't know if i want this guy to be the face of austin anymore. >> reporter: suzanne, you know, you talk to people and some have told us, you know, over the last few years they've gradually lost respect for lance armstrong. because, you know, there have been years and years where he adamantly denied doping and come thursday we will all hear him say in his own words he did take part in doping, suzanne.
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>> do people give him a break because of the extraordinary work that he did involving cancer? i mean, being a cancer survivor, raising $470 million for those fighting cancer, battling cancer, being an inspiration in that part. do they feel like there is some good here that he can be resurrected in some way? >> reporter: yeah, so there's disappointment definitely here. there's also some sympathy, maybe some forgiveness in the sense that he did do a lot of good work. and that is the hope. a lot of people say that, you know, they don't want to lose sight of the fact that he was, you know, such a big -- had such a big impact on cancer research. on cancer charities. that's one thing that people hope does not get lost in all of this. and we heard from livestrong. you read part of that statement. >> sure. >> reporter: the other part says day are going to independently move forward. you know, just to make sure they continue their work. >> and finally, george, real quick here. a lot of people, are they talking about watching this interview in its entirety?
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>> reporter: yeah, you know, a lot of people will be watching it. we're here at this bike shop that lance armstrong co-owns and, you know, this is the conversation of the day. we people are waiting to see exactly how he's going to say it. what's he going to say? for so long he's denied it. >> all right. thank you. appreciate it. cnn is going to take an in-depth look at lance armstrong. that is tomorrow at 3:00 eastern. and the president laying out his plan to curb gun violence. this is, of course, in the wake of the newtown shooting. one part, stricter background checks. there is another, more funds to help people treat them with mental illnesses. coming up, we're actually going to take an in-depth look at how they think this can curb gun violence. >> no one can know for certain if this senseless act could have been prevented, but we all know we have a moral obligation, a moral obligation to do everything in our power to diminish the prospect that something like this could happen again.
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president as you know came out with a plan just this last hour to help stop gun violence. it included recommendations from the vice president's task force. spurred into action, of course, after the connecticut tragedy. it includes a proposal for reinstating the assault weapons ban, requiring universal background checks, and banning
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magazines carrying more than ten bullets. but the president also mentioned mental health as part of the mix of solutions. >> we will make sure mental health professionals know their options for reporting threats of violence. even as we acknowledge that someone with a mental illness is far more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the perpetrator. >> joining us from washington, michael fitzpatrick. he is executive director of the national alliance on mental illness. michael, i understand you were actually at the white house event today. you've been part of the vice president's task force in talking about mental health care and services provided. were you satisfied with what you heard from the president today? >> i think it was, we certainly were satisfied. i think there were other members of the mental health community there. i think what we heard was that there's the willingness to have a national dialogue on the mental health system. the fractured, broken and inaccessible in many communities. to provide support to teachers
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and schools, to provide support to families and caregivers. and to really take a new look at the whole mental health system that everyone believes, after every one of these tragedies, is something that doesn't meet the needs of either the people served by it or the families trying to get access to it. >> how important was the president's point that he was making about providing funding for the centers or disease control? the research, the science he said, when you take a look at violence. >> you know, i think that's very important. i think there's a lot of mythology around the issues around mental health and guns. we believe this dialogue right now has little to do with guns. it's more about a broken mental health system. i think to have research and definitive research to understand the relationship with violence and guns and mental health, i think is very important. >> did it concern you at all? because there are some people whose eyebrows were raised when they heard this.
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the information-sharing component. because the president does want to give federal agencies, different federal agencies better abilities, capabilities, if you will, to share information on people's records. whether it's the fbi, whether it's from veteran affairs. does it concern you in terms of privacy for people who are mentally ill? >> on any given day, 60% of the people with mental illness in this country can't get the service they need for a variety of reasons. some of that has to do with stigma. so you want to be very careful when you're setting up this criteria for reporting that you don't stop veterans, teachers, everyone in our community, one in four people in this country will experience a mental health problem in their lives. that you're not setting up a block for them to get the services they need because of this reporting system. we need to know the details and we'll be watching them very closely as time goes on. we want to make sure that people who are dangerous don't get weapons, but on the other hand, we want to be careful we don't set up a system that blocks people from getting the services
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that they need for mental health. >> i want to show you viewers here, this is a quick graphic we made here. obviously some of the things you want to have accomplished there. implementing. school-based mental health services. lack of health insurance coverage for mental services. must implement key provisions of affordable care act. these are some of the things you are putting on the table. what do you make of the nra and their suggestion that there be some sort of registry for those who are mentally ill? >> well, there is a registry already in place that has had a number of problems over the years. not enough states report. that needs to be tinkered with, changed. language needs to be changed. again, you need to be very, very careful when you set up a registry like this that you're not putting up a block for people to get the services they need. what we know, and is part of our recommendations in regard to this horrible tragedy, is we need to have early intervention. we need to get to people sooner. we need to make the mental
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health system accessible. we don't want a reporting system for weapons and guns to block people from getting the treatment that they need. >> and do you think the task force is dealing with the need of mentally, those who are mentally ill? the fact that there are so many people in this country, and it's almost hard to believe, that do not get treated? >> right. and that's what the reality is. it's what i said earlier. the way, more than half of the people in this country don't get the treatment they need. it takes between eight ten ten ye years for a child that's diagnosed to get the treatment they need. we also know that many of the kids who exhibit emotional disturbances or mental health problems begin to exhibit those problems at the age of 14. so we need to be in schools. we need to be doing mental health screening. we need to have early intervention. the system of care in this country for mental health right now spends too much time looking at the backend of the system and not looking at the front end of the system where we can get services to people when they need them. >> michael fitzpatrick.
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thank you. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> as we've been reporting, the president pushing for tighter gun laws. is this going to be part of this legacy or be a fight to fix the country's financial crisis? the problems on that end. we're taking an indepth look on how to plan, how he plans to fix the deficit and whether or not it's going to work as he suggests.
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president obama struggling with the debt ceiling, that's always a fun comedy premise. wow. this will be good. debt premise. no, president obama told congress it must raise our debt limit because the u.s. is, quote, not a deadbeat nation. yeah. and the president added, by the way, if china calls, i'm not here. >> conan o'brien poking fun at the latest financial crisis. comedians, of course, joking about it. the country's debt, one of the big issues facing the president over the next four years. alison kosik is taking an in-depth look at how we got there and why it is important to do something about it. >> reporter: the challenge? taming the national debt. just a few steps from the billboards of times square is a billboard of a certain sort. the national debt clock.
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new york real estate developer seymour durst set up the first debt clock in 1989. >> when my father designed the clock, the debt was about $2 trillion. he would be shocked that we're at this number today. >> reporter: last year, the federal government spent $3.6 trillion, but it only took in $2.45 trillion in revenue. it borrowed the shortfall, about $1.1 trillion. that's the deficit. the accumulated annual deficits or shortfalls plus interest make up the national debt. that's more than $16 trillion today. the debt had run up under republican and democratic presidents and congresses. both have had opportunities to tackle it, but it's never politically palatable. president obama formed this simpson/bowles commission, headed by simpson and erskin bowles to cut the debt by $4 trillion over 10 years.
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critics say president obama has all but ignored it. commission co-head simpson says the growing threat poses a major threat to the u.s. economy. >> where is the tipping point? i don't know where it is, but when it comes, going to be so swift and so savage. >> reporter: obama's plan proposes $360 billion in cuts to medicaid, medicare and other health programs over the next decade. but because costs in those programs are rising fast, the debt would be $6.4 trillion higher in 10 years. the president's budget also proposes cuts to discretionary and mandatory spending that would save $737 billion over a decade. military spending would be reduced, saving $487 billion. the fiscal cliff bill that congress passed on new year's day would also reduce projected deficits somewhat. higher taxes on households making above $450,000 and other tax increases will raise an additional $600 billion in
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revenue by 2022. but that's not enough. and as democrats and republicans gear up over the next few months to debate spending cuts, debt limits and the federal budget, there still is not a credible plan out there that puts a serious dent in the debt. but douglas durst still holds out hope that one day he'll be able to retire his dad's debt clock. >> i'm an optimist. we would have a very big party. >> reporter: alison kosik, cnn, new york. speaking of money, if you're looking for that job that really pays, you probably want to get a college degree or pick up a second degree. that is right. ali velshi and christine romans take a look at the careers and the schools that can help you get ahead. >> thanks. okay. so when christine and i were in college, the idea was to study kind of whatever you -- those were in the days before cable -- study whatever you wanted and the world was your oyster if you got a university degree. if you had to go back and make a choice today about what to study, what would you choose? >> well, s.t.e.m.
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sirngs technology, engineering, math. it's the only thing you hear employers talking about and you hear is driving growth for the future and driving paychecks actually right now. i'm going to show you data payscale.com put together for us. s.t.e.m. graduates make $20,000 more than liberal arts majors when they graduate. $30,000 more when they're established. ali, look at this, $1.3 million more over the course of their lifetimes. >> that's what you have to think about. not the $20,000 in the first year. it's over the course of your lifetime 3 that's your retirement. these students are getting recruited to high-paying jobs before they even graduate. and demand is only going to grow. but, listen, s.t.e.m. science, technology, engineering, mathematics. it isn't for everyone. i've always said this. i'd love to be an engineer. i don't know if i can be an engineer. >> you can't have a world just full of only engineers. if you stick to a liberal arts focus, that will work for you, too. we had payscale run these numbers on how you can succeed in the united states. it's still the only place where we value the creative outside
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the box thinking. a lot of people say to have s.t.e.m. drive the economy you have to have the liberal arts to go with it. >> five of the best jobs for liberal arts majors. don't despair if you're in liberal arts. this is more than just salary. it takes into account stress level, job satisfaction, growth in the industry. at the top, working as a writer in corporate communications. now, you may, this is a big deal, you and i always talk about this. part of this is education, part of this is location. you may have to be willing to move. these are the top ten metropolitan areas for liberal arts grads. believe it or not, washington, d.c., lands at number one and then boston, those are some interesting places. >> i think the bottom line is you can make liberal arts pay. it's not going to pay as much as that s.t.e.m. job. you can make it pay if you're smart about how you invest in it. >> pay attention to what it is you're studying. >> east week ali and christine give you tips on how to put your financial house in order. check it out, their book "how to
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speak money." more problems with boeing's 787 dreamliner. there are two major airlines that are grounding the planes. plus arnold schwarzenegger has left politics behind, of course, focusing on a role now in hollywood. why he says his role as california made him a better actor. you'll hear from him. this is $100,000. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally. ♪
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we're following a developing story. there are americans being held hostage in algeria. and now according to some reports, there are as many as 41 being held hostage. cnn is not able to independently confirm that, but we have heard from our state department reporter, elise labott saying they suspect it's militants who are linked to al qaeda who took
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those hostages out of a bp facility. it is being called a terrorist attack. that the state department is now in touch with the algerians who are taking the lead on this, but certainly there's communication between the u.s. government and algerian government officials in what is taking place on the ground. there's still a lot of information that we do not have at this time, but what we can tell you is that there are militants who are holding americans hostage out of that bp facility in algeria. at least 41 people who have been taken hostage, could be as many as seven americans who are among that group. that is not a number that cnn can independently confirm, but state department certainly trying to get more information to learn what is taking place on the ground there. >> information that we have at this time is that u.s. citizens are among the hostages.
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i hope you will understand that in order to protect their safety, i'm not going to get into numbers. i'm not going to get into names. i'm not going to get into any further details. as we continue to work on this issue with the algerian authorities and also with their employers. >> state department being very cautious at this time about giving those specifics. they are still working on getting information. they are in touch with algerian government officials, but at this time, still independent reports aside from cnn saying as many as 41 people who are now being held by those terrorists. it is considered the future of air travel, but there are new concerns now for boeing's new 787. two japanese airports grounding all of the dreamliners. that is half of the 50 dreamliners in service all around the world. came after a jet was forced to make an emergency landing. today's incident, the crew reported battery problems and a burning smell. it is the latest in a series of
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incidents over the last ten days. those concerns had already prompted the u.s. and japanese officials to conduct some safety reviews. the problems over the past week and half include a battery fire, a braking problem, and two fuel leaks. boeing's stock fell almost 5% in the premarket trading and richard quest, he's in seoul. tell us a little bit about the dreamliner, whether or not we believe it's still safe. >> reporter: despite the fact there have been so many public problems with the dreamliner, the experts all agree, the aircraft is safe. that's because if you look closely, all the alarms, the warnings, the detection systems have worked exactly as they were supposed to. even in the latest case of the ana emergency landing in japan. however, boeing cannot rest easy. the aircraft maker needs to get to grips with why there have been so many problems, although
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no common fault between them. cracked windshield, detection systems on the brakes, faulty fuel valve, battery problems, electrical panels. there's no common link, and that will make it even more difficult getting to grips with these glitches. when all is said and done, though, we have two airlines, including the launch customer, having grounded their fleet. 48% of all dreamliners in the air. as for the other airlines, they've yet to say what they are going to do in case there's a question of passenger confidence. richard quest, cnn, seoul, south korea. nippon airways and japanese airlines could return their dreamliners to service as early as tomorrow. now it's official, mark sanford wants his old seat back in congress. the former governor of south carolina who admitted to having
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an extramarital affair in 2009. sanford formally announced today he's going to run for the congressional seat left empty by congressman tim scott appointed last month to fill a senate seat. south carolina's republican primary, that is set for march 1 19th. and he always said he'd be back. he kept his word. form erier california governor. schwarzenegger told cnn at 65 he's a better actor than he's ever been. >> you know, i get older. i get wiser. i've experienced things as governor that helped me with my performance. i think that i'm better today than i was when i left the acting field and so i think the movie turned out really terrific and i was very fortunate to work with the director that is really good at pulling out performances out of actors.
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>> arnold schwarzenegger, his new movie, first leading role in a decade. it's big on action, of course. it's called "the last stand." premiered this week in los angeles. expect snow, ice, rain. huge winter mess. yes. stretching from maine to mississippi. what you've got to know to stay ahead of this storm. a completen designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+. you paid...wow. hmmm. let's see if walmart can help you find the same look for less. okay. see? walmart has all these leading eyewear brands and styles. rockstar! really? yeah. oh, wow! oh, black frame looks good on you. yeah? you can get a complete pair starting at just -- $38. really?! and did you know that our glasses come with a free 12-month replacement guarantee? i didn't know walmart had all this. the price is impressive, the quality is too! come to walmart and see for yourself. find rollbacks on the contact lenses you want. like the acuvue oasys -- now $27.88. walmart.
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ice, snow, creating some really dangerous driving conditions in parts of the northeast. the winter storm has closed schools in massachusetts.
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it triggered a 40-mile backup on an interstate. that is just outside of boston there. it is the same storm that brought this to the south. you're talking about snow, heavy ice, that took down trees, created a huge mess on the roads. chad myer is tracking the storm at the weather center. chad, what do we know? >> a couple more coming, even for washington, d.c. i know if you think about, you hear snow on the beltway, everybody goes out and buys every piece of bread they can find. this is going to be a quick storm. the good news it is happening on friday night. maybe you won't be stuck on the beltway trying to get home. snowing in maine, across parts of newfoundland, a rain/snow barrier, an icy morning westchester county, a lot of the suburbs we'll call them of new york city, warming up, though, at this point above 32, just about everywhere. winter weather advisory for the northeast, but this is the part of the story that changes everything. down to the south, we have another developing low that's
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going to crash right through the deep south and then on up and out into the ocean. that doesn't sound like a bad thing, but the appalachian chain is going to be covered up by snow. snow all the way from roanoke, i can see roanoke, you could pick up a foot of snow there. this is western virginia, west virginia, all the way back down to the mountains of north carolina, and, yes, baltimore and washington. now, bwi and philadelphia i think you're going to be dry enough that you'll see flurries. but if you get down to d.c., north of richmond, virginia, into the delmarva, could be 5 to 6 inches of snow right through this very populated area and not that many snowplows in that area. there is the 12 inches i was talking about there. this is western virginia, threw through into maryland and up to delaware and parts of southern new jersey. that's the good news. maybe that's the best news is that it mostly will be friday night into saturday and not like a tuesday or a wednesday. you'll be stuck at work because you can't get home. >> that's the good news. there is a big inauguration, the big weekend, and that monday, of course, we'll see if that actually messes up people's
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travel plans. chad, thank you very much. appreciate it. >> you're welcome. coming up, how a new facebook feature could be used against its users. ular heartbea. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem, a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left. i don't think so. [ male announcer ] for years, bob took warfarin, and made a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but not anymore. bob's doctor recommended a different option: once-a-day xarelto®. xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem, that doesn't require routine blood monitoring. like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective to reduce the risk of an afib-related stroke. there is limited data on how these drugs compare when warfarin is well managed. no routine blood monitoring means bob can spend his extra time however he likes. new zealand! xarelto® is just one pill a day,
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call 1-888-xarelto or visit goxarelto.com. facebook is getting users a new way to search the content and the information that their friends have posted. so it is called graph search. it lets users sift their contacts photos, their likes, geographical information, all that good stuff. mark zuckerberg says it is going to become the pillar of facebook's offerings. want to bring in dan simon,
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following this from san francisco. tell us all about this. >> reporter: well, hi, suzanne. zuckerberg calling this one of the most exciting features facebook has come out with in a long time. now, no broadcast cameras were alo allowed for this event yesterday. facebook knows so much information about us. you got a billion users on facebook, they know our likes from hotels, cars, restaurants, all these photos. there is no really easy way to search for this information. well, that changes with this new product called graph search and facebook put together this video demonstration in terms of how it works. take a look. ♪
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>> reporter: so these are some things you could potentially search for, people from my hometown who like hiking, people who like tennis and live nearby, music my friends like, photos of my friends taken in new york. so you can see, you can basically search for anything that your friends have posted on facebook. now this product, suzanne, is in beta. it is going to be rolled out gradually. you can see how this might help facebook's bottom line in terms of its business, its advertising. so, for example, you search for photos your friends took in las vegas, you might see an advertisement for an airline or for a hotel. so facebook sees this as a win-win both for consumers and, of course, its business. >> dan, people look like they're having fun. they look like they're having a heck of a lot of fun over there. do we think it is a direct threat to google in their search? >> reporter: you know, there is a debate about this. i don't think so. google, of course, you're searching the web.